FROM MOLECULES TO CELLS

The next step in the creation of organic life is atoms joining together to create molecules and molecules joining together to create larger molecules… which join together to create cells.

Each individual cell is a living entity! Contained inside each cell are all the instructions and molecular machinery needed to create and maintain life. Life can exist as a unicellular organism (a single cell), such as most bacteria, or as a mulitcellular organism (more than one cell) such as the human body.

It is imperative to your continued existence, if you are a single cell organism, that you maintain yourself in perfect working order. Once you are no longer able to create and maintain life… “you are toast mate!” (Dead, for the non-Brits)

Now if you are lucky enough to be a mulitcellular organism, ultimately there is really no difference – each cell must be able to create and maintain life. Now, you may have a few more cells to spare, but when enough cells have lost their ability to create and maintain life… you are toast too, (aka Dead)!

The human body is made up of a complex network of trillions of cells, which create every component of your body. Similar cells combine to form tissues and similar tissues combine to form organs; for example muscle cells combine with muscle cells to form muscle tissue, muscle tissue combines with muscle tissue to form the muscle.

Cells are surrounded by a membrane that protects the internal parts of the cell, thus also protecting the cellular DNA (which is found in the center of the cell).The cell membrane is a permeable (porous) barrier through which all nutrients, oxygen and blood enter the cell and waste products exit. The cell membrane guards the fortress deciding what gets in and what is thrown out. Thus, the integrity and function of the cell membrane is critical to the healthy life of the entire cell, and therefore, the entire organism.

In a perfectly functioning healthy cell, maintaining the integrity of the cellular DNA is imperative; if you destroy parts of the instructions for creating an organism you will NOT be able to create an exact copy of the organism. This will be covered in more detail in the following pages titled “The Genome” and “DNA to Protein.”